I have a lot on my mind this morning. Our sweet Arran is starting to wear out, and Bill and I are frustrated, because he has to leave town this week and next, and the vet has been hard to reach. I don’t want to be here alone with Arran, because I’m afraid he will decline while Bill is gone. While Arran loves us both, he has a special connection to Bill. It would devastate us if he were to pass while Bill was gone on a business trip.
We did call the vet’s office this morning. Hopefully, she will be able to give us some Prednisone or something similar to tide Arran over until we can try chemo. It’s very frustrating to have to deal with the timing of this now. If this had happened a month ago, we’d be more able to handle it properly. Arran still wants to engage with us, and he will eat, sleep, and take walks. He seems to have more difficulty in the mornings. I think it’s because he likely has a mass in his chest that causes fluid to build up when he sleeps. As I mentioned before, it’s not that we’re hoping for a miracle cure for him. We just want to buy him some time until we can both be there to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge.
I could write more about this, but I was already kept awake by weird dreams and worry. I can’t control the cancer that has, once again, invaded our lives. I love living in Europe, but sometimes I really miss being in my own country, where I can speak the language and feel more comfortable driving places by myself. Bill plans to come home on Friday, so he’ll be here on the weekend before he has to leave again. I generally hate it when he travels, although I mind it much less when our dogs aren’t ailing.
Now… on to today’s topic.
Yesterday, I saw a tweet by Ex that made me do some thinking about the process of love. When she and Bill were married, she used to lament that Bill didn’t love her the way a woman should be loved. She even used music to make her points. To this day, Bill hates the songs “To Really Love A Woman” by Bryan Adams, and “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow. Ex would play them and offer object lessons on how men should show love and affection to their wives. I don’t remember him ever telling me that Ex was ready to take criticism on how she “loved” Bill. Personally, I don’t think she’s capable of actual love. Instead, she gets infatuated with people. When that wears off, she’s inevitably disappointed.
Here’s an example of what I mean, once again, courtesy of her very public tweets:
He genuinely nailed it. He looked at her the way a man should look at a woman…with awe. I love this picture! It makes me cry for all of us who will never experience true love. Oh gods, it makes me feel so lonely!!
Ex was reacting to a photo of two actors on a TV show she watches. She gets all starry eyed about actors– people paid to pretend to love each other for entertainment purposes– looking like they are in awe of each other, and deeply in “true love”. In another tweet, she writes:
They still have that way of looking at each other…. Oh how it rips my heart out.
There are other comments about the perfect “love”, and how “beautiful” the couple on TV is… even though they are ACTORS. She has fallen under their spell, lost in the romance of what she assumes “true love” is.
A couple of days ago, I was listening to H.G. Tudor on YouTube. He has a very interesting channel, as he claims to be a high level narcissistic sociopath himself, and he says that makes him able to spot and explain narcissistic behaviors to the unaware. Now… I have mentioned more than once that I don’t know if H.G. Tudor truly is a narcissistic sociopath, working for “good”. I don’t doubt that he has narcissistic traits and proclivities. And, for all I know, he really is what he claims to be. I’ve never met the man. He just seems very astute and aware for a narcissist. Usually, they are so stuck on themselves and their own agendas that they would never think to offer advice to the general public.
But anyway, the other day, H.G. Tudor posted an interesting video in which he was talking about people in the early stages of mutual attraction. Have you ever “fallen in love”? It’s only happened to me once– back when I met Bill and realized that we had something between us. I remember that time to be very exciting and fun. We were into each other. We wanted to be together. We went on exciting dates and spent wonderful weekends together, during which we would do fun things. It was a very intense time, and it made us both feel really good. I think that’s by design, isn’t it? You “fall in love” with someone, which makes you want to have sex with them and, perhaps, procreate? Or maybe not… as I do know that a lot of people, by their own choosing, never have children. I do think there is a biological element to “falling in love”, though.
But then what happens after the relationship is established? What happens when the couple is no longer feeling the need to impress each other with romance and magical surprises? What happens when one or the other person doesn’t feel the need to keep offering “hits” to keep the other person interested?
Things cool off somewhat. Maybe you don’t have sex in every room anymore. Maybe you stop feeding each other chocolate covered strawberries. Maybe there are fewer date nights. Maybe you act more like friends, or even roommates, than lovers. Maybe the honeymoon is obviously over when one, or both of you, feels perfectly fine about performing bodily functions in the open without any shame whatsoever. This happens to the best of couples. My parents were married for 56 years. They had their problems, but I know they loved each other very much. They were very comfortable together.
Bill and I are still “in love”, I’d say. We genuinely love to be with each other. We still do things together all the time. But there’s less romance, and a lot less sex. We’re now a seasoned, established couple… true partners, rather than lovestruck beings consumed with passion. Sometimes Bill does look at me in awe, but it’s usually after I’ve said something particularly shocking or disgusting. 😉 On rare occasions, he looks at me that way when he’s proud of me… like if I record a song that makes him cry, or I offer an insight that he hadn’t considered. But of course that doesn’t happen every day. It would be unrealistic to expect that.
I think Ex somehow never learned that no relationship stays hot and spicy forever. Real love isn’t about being starry eyed and crazy with awe for another person. Real love is settled and reliable and… sometimes… a little bit boring. But it’s dependable and sane. I know my husband has my back, and he knows I have his. We get through things together. I don’t need him to look at me as if I’m some exotic goddess who amazes him every day. It’s enough that he treats me that way by showing me respect and regard. And he doesn’t care if I fart in front of him or tell a raunchy joke. He loves me for exactly who I am, and doesn’t want me to change.
I’ll tell you something else, too. I know my husband is faithful. I am faithful to him, too. Neither of us has any desire to get any on the side. How do I know this? Because he’s almost always with me. When he’s not, he’s contacting me from afar. Maybe he’s a rare individual, but I’d like to hope there are more people out there who are like him. People have tried to tell me that all men cheat. But I’m certain that Bill doesn’t. He can’t be the only faithful man in the world.
Last night, I unfollowed an author I had been following because she was posting some “anti-male” propaganda that I didn’t appreciate. It was basically about how men are all disgusting, consumed with lust, and looking at all women as sex objects. The post was something along the lines of how men don’t realize how awful they are until they become fathers, and they realize that males are looking at their daughters the way that they used to look at other men’s daughters. I do think that’s often true, and it’s based in biology. But I don’t think all men are like that. And unfortunately, I also know that while men much more often sexually assault women, sometimes women also sexually assault men. It can and does happen.
I have seen Ex repeatedly post comments about how a certain male actor warms her heart because he gives her a sense of “safety”. She thinks the actor looks at his co-star with such warmth and regard that there is “true love” there. But they’re actors! Are they actually in love? I would guess not, even if it is technically possible. And somehow, Ex has come to believe that love is always passionate and hot. I have come to realize that real love isn’t like that at all.
Real love is being there when someone is not at their best. Real love is accepting a person for who they are, and not trying to shame or change them in any way. Real love is letting the person show their feelings authentically, and not using books, music, movies, or art to try to “teach” them the proper way to express their feelings. Real love is about commitment, trust, and positive regard. I would say that love often feels like a very deep and trusting friendship, a closeness in which the couple can tell each other anything at all and not worry about being immediately shamed or shitcanned. Even if something terrible has happened– at least the couple can hear each other out without fear. Real love isn’t about that look of “awe”. It’s about a deep and abiding connection, great compassion, and knowing each other very well.
Ex is right that she’s never had “true love”. She certainly never had it with Bill. But that’s not because he isn’t capable of it. I know for a fact that he is.
And just to bring this back around to our beloved Arran, look at these photos and tell me if you see true love. I sure do…
And yes, sometimes I still catch him looking at me that way, too…